How many times have you spoken that phrase or screamed it inside your head? I've lost count. Up until a few months ago those words were stuck in my heart by the superglue of misery. In high school, they were as much apart of me as breathing was. Every day, I found something wrong with my life and would mutter to myself, "Why me? Why is all of this happening to me?"
I said this when the boy who told me he loved me had a summer fling with another girl, I said this when I lost my best friend, I said this when my parents told me they were splitting up, I said this when I was accused of being a bully and when I got arthritis in my toes at age seventeen. I said this when I sprained my knee, when loved ones passed away, when the boyfriend I'd been in love with for years broke up with me, and pretty much any time my life wasn't going just how I wanted it to.
"Why me, why me, why me?" I'd repeat over and over in my head.
But lately I've been thinking, why not me? Why should any of this not have happened to me. Where would my life be if everything had gone exactly how I wanted it to during the time of my struggle?
Not here. That's the answer. I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be in the amazing place I am. I wouldn't be writing this blog or going to Africa if I still had a boyfriend to devote my time to over the summer. I wouldn't be nearly as interested in serving others if I hadn't first been accused of being a bully. I wouldn't know half as much as I do now if even one of those things hadn't happened to me.
I asked, "Why me?" because I could only see as far as my own head. I couldn't fathom that there was a bigger plan for my life. I only knew my plan and my desires. I was looking at the world through clouded eyes, through flawed eyes, through human eyes.
But I know now, that there's a bigger picture and if I got to choose everything that happened in my life, I would never really learn or accomplish anything. I would have nothing to be thankful for because I'd feel entitled to everything. Life would not be a gift. Nothing would be a blessing.
There is something incredible about not getting what you want. There is something fantastic about understanding that you cannot control every circumstance. There is something amazing about realizing that every challenge, every struggle, every heartbreak, could be the greatest blessing you never asked for.
I always used to think that the pain I went through would destroy me. I thought it was going to break me and never realized the amazing place it could take me.
What if we all said "Why me?" for every beautiful thing that happened to us instead of every struggle? What we asked God how we could be so lucky to have so many moments of sheer happiness? What if we asked why we had too many blessings to count instead of why we had to deal with a few moments of hurt?
I am serving in Africa this summer because of incredible circumstances, and incredible doesn't even begin to describe it. How can this be happening? How can I be so lucky? What were the odds of my sister winning a t-shirt contest? Why am I so blessed?